Five reasons to give to charity 

At Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) we know that donating to the causes you care about benefits more than just the charities and those they support – it can be deeply rewarding for you too. CAF's World Giving Index 2022 found that record numbers of people globally chose to give to charity in 2021, and more than 3 billion people reported having helped a stranger. Millions give to charity on a regular basis to support causes they believe in, as well as for the positive effect it has on their own lives.

So why is giving to charity so gratifying and life-changing for all involved?

Here are five good reasons you might not have thought about for donating to your charities of choice. 

1. Giving to charity makes you feel good 

Donating to charity is a major mood-booster. The knowledge that you’re helping others is hugely empowering and, in turn, can make you feel happier and more fulfilled. Research has identified a link between making a donation to charity and increased activity in the area of the brain that registers pleasure – proving that as the old adage goes, it really is far better to give than to receive.

CAF's latest UK Giving report found that 20% of people surveyed said that they gave to charity because doing so made them feel good. In our research, 'Why we give', published back in 2014, we asked 700 of our generous donors to tell us what motivates them to give regularly to charity; 42% cited the enjoyment they receive from giving as a key influence.

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2. Giving to charity strengthens personal values 

In our research report, Why we give, a feeling of social conscience was the most widely-cited reason to give to charity. Whatever type of charity work they supported, 96% of people said they felt they had a moral duty to use what they had to help others – a sentiment very much rooted in their personal values and principles.

Having the power to improve the lives of others is, to many people, a privilege, and one that comes with its own sense of obligation. Acting on these powerful feelings of responsibility is a great way to reinforce our own personal values and feel like we are living in a way that is true to our own beliefs.

If you are looking for tools to help you figure out which causes matter most to you and how best you might be able to make an impact, our Guide to Giving can help. 

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3. Giving is more impactful than ever

Many people are concerned that their donations to charity may be reduced by tax or administrative costs, preventing the full amount from reaching the people or causes they really want to help. Thankfully there are ways to make the most of every donation to charity.

If you’re a UK taxpayer, you can boost the amount of every donation you make by giving through Gift Aid, an Income Tax relief programme created to help charities get the most out of the funds they receive. As Gift Aid enables the charity to recover the basic rate of tax on your donation, the scheme effectively adds 25p to each £1 you give at no extra cost to you.

There are many other ways to give to charity tax-effectively too, such as by donating straight from your salary (before tax is deducted) through a payroll giving scheme; donating shares to charity; or leaving a charitable legacy in your Will. These methods of giving ensure your chosen charities benefit as much as possible from your support, and can result in a lifetime of connection between you and the causes you care about.


4. Giving can reintroduce friends and family to the importance of generosity

Knowing someone who gives to charity can be a catalyst for giving to charity yourself. By giving to charity, you may well be helping to remind friends and family of causes they themselves are passionate about and would like to support.
Your charitable donations could even bring about a family-wide effort to back a charity or charities that have special significance to you as a group.

Family giving creates a bond, helping to bolster relationships through a shared goal and often raises more money than could otherwise be possible through individual donations. Chances are, many of your family members are already giving to charity, so working together could help you to make even more of a positive impact. We can help your family set up a family CAF Charitable Trust to make coordinating your donations simple and sustainable.

Sharing the experience of donating to charity with your children is also a powerful way of showing them from a young age that they can make positive changes in the world. Children naturally love to help others, so nurturing their innate generosity is likely to mean that they grow up with a greater appreciation of what they have, and will carry on supporting charity and good causes in years to come.

If you have children, starting a tradition of donating to charity with them is easy - try creating a family donation box that everyone can add to and nominate a family charity each year, involving the children in choosing which causes to support.

5. Giving to charity builds and strengthens community

The Covid 19 pandemic has encouraged many of us to take a closer look at our local communities and to consider how we can make a difference. Giving to charity, and particularly locally, can be a powerful way to invest in the people and places that make up our everyday lives. 

As a member of the various communities, you are likely to be well-placed to identify causes in your community that could benefit from charitable giving and support. You might also have insights into how to donate your money or time to magnify your positive impact and strengthen your community.

If these good reasons – a handful of many – have inspired you to make a donation to charity, we can help. We make it easy to find a charity that’s working for causes important to you, and can support you whether you want to make a one-off donation, set up a donation plan or find out how to donate your time.

With CAF, giving to the causes you care about is safe and efficient. Whether you wish to make a one-off donation or need support with your long-term giving and philanthropy, we are here to help you maximise your giving and make the impact you wish to create.

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